By Ashley Lodato
Two musical items of note this week. First, local musician Lauralee Northcott regrets that she did not win either of the International Western Music Association’s (IWMA) top honors this year: songwriter of the year and album of the year. Still, Northcott had a great time attending the annual awards ceremony and says, “I felt recognized and delighted to be in the same room with the winner, Richard Elloyan. One of my heroes!”
Northcott knew that her Methow friends Tom and Carolyn Sullivan would be in the audience at the IWMA’s awards festival and show in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in early November, as part of their Southwest road trip, but imagine Northcott’s surprise when she looked around the enormous ballroom and also noticed Twisp resident Teri Pieper taking pictures at the event!
Former Methow residents and musicians Jennifer Epps and Judy Coder were also performing at the IWMA event (and their photo is also on the home page of the IWMA’s website). “Locals make it lots of cool places,” says Northcott. “The Methow Valley was well represented.”
Another noteworthy musical event is Liberty Bell High School student Peter Aspholm’s upcoming senior recital this Sun (Dec. 2) at 3 p.m. at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. Peter, who has been a student of Terry Hunt for 12 years, will play a number of his favorite classical pieces solo as well as some duets with Terry and the Vivaldi Guitar Concerto in D Major with the Papillon Quartet (Lena Nelson, Keeley Brooks, Stephanie Strong and Simon Studen).
The recital, which is preceded by a joint recital featuring Hunt students Kellen Miles and Alex Nicolazzo, has no admission fee, but Peter will accept donations for completing the acoustical treatments at Little Star’s new building in Winthrop because he wishes to honor Rayma Hayes’ legacy. Peter’s first performance was in his pre-kinder class, playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” at the encouragement of Rayma.
Peter began playing guitar at age 5, when his grandmother sent him a toy guitar. Peter’s mom called Terry Hunt and asked about lessons. Hunt was skeptical at first and wanted to make sure that Peter could pay attention for 20 minutes and also move his index and middle fingers independently. Peter could, and that, says his mother Margo Aspholm, launched “12 years of having Terry as his dedicated teacher, as well as super-supportive grandparents assisting with lessons, new guitars, master classes and smart suits and ties.”